Farvardin 26 1400 - April 15 2021
Atlanta Film Festival picks five films from Iran

Five movies from Iranian filmmakers will be screened at the 45th edition of the Atlanta Film Festival. "African Violet" by Mona Zandi-Haghighi will go on screen at the main section of the festival. "Eyes and Arms" by Panahbarkhoda Rezai will be screened at the documentary section of the festival. The festival will also screen Iranian shorts "Crab" by Shiva Sadeq-Asadi, "The Doll" by Elahe Esmaeili, and "Spotted Yellow" by Baran Sarmad. 4/14/21

Child Adoption Up 10 Percent In Iran

Child adoption has increased in the country by 10 percent, following the actions taken to speed up the process, Habibollah Masoudi-Farid, deputy head of the Welfare Organization, has stated. Following the Law on Protection of Children and Adolescents in [the Iranian calendar year] 1392 (March 2013-March 2014), adaption experienced an upward trend. 4/13/21

Tablecloth weaving in Mazandaran villages

Some women in the Iranian province of Mazandaran are still weaving traditional tablecloths as a way to make a living. Mazandaran Province is located along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and in the adjacent Central Alborz mountain range, in central-northern Iran. -Hava Ahmadi, Mehr 4/12/21

A TOUR OF IRAN - Symphony Concert and Cultural Festival

Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and Iranian instrumentalists Pejman Hadadi and Masoud Rezaei join the New West Symphony on this musical voyage (April 8-11). GRAMMY-winning Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie leads the orchestra in western classical masterworks by Handel, Rameau, Gounod, and the timeless overture to Mozart's Magic Flute. -Farhang Foundation 4/9/21

Iranians mark Nature Day outdoors despite COVID-19 restrictions

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, and by order of Coronavirus Prevention and Combat Headquarters, authorities closed all parks and public places in Iran on April 2 and imposed severe penalties for picnicking. However, desite the official orders and warnings, Iranians across the country gathered outdoors on Friday to celebrate Sizdah-Bedar, the traditional Persian festival of nature. 4/2/21

Concert: Pacific Symphony and Farhang Foundation's Virtual Nowruz Celebration

Celebrate Nowruz with the prestigious Pacific Symphony partnership with the Farhang Foundation. A traditional festival that marks the beginning of spring, Nowruz is a time to celebrate the "rebirth of nature" and wash away the past. Guest artists include pianist and composer Shardad Rohani, guitarist Lily Afshar, vocalist Sara Hamidi, and Sohrab Pournazeri improvising on the tanbour from Tehran, Iran. 4/1/21

Bahman Mohassess shaped Iranian modernism-and buried his own legacy

Bahman Mohassess is considered Iran's most important modernist, and has been dubbed the "Persian Picasso." But for nearly five decades of his career, he lived outside the public eye in Italy, and his countrymen even thought he was dead. Now, however, there is no missing the many contributions of Mohassess, who is best known for his paintings of anthropomorphic figures that allude to international political conflict. -Angelica Villa, Art News 4/1/21

Photos: Happiness Carnival in Hamedan, Iran

The photo album depicts Happiness Nowruz Carnival in Hamedan Province, Iran. The Carnival performs different programs in Hamadan city's main streets to create happiness for travelers and citizens. -Adel Bakhoda, IRNA 3/29/21

Nowruz celebration in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of over a dozen countries that celebrate the 3000-year tradition of Nowruz. This is how Afghan people observe the tradition. You might be surprised but Christmas is not the only new year tradition which is observed across the world; Nowruz is, too. -Marjohn Sheikhi, Mehr 3/26/21

Photos: Tombs of Iranian poets Sa'di, Hafez during Norooz holidays

The tombs of Sa'di and Hafez in Shiraz, two famous poets of Iranian poetry and literature, are two of the top tourists destinations in Iran. Every year the tombs are visited by a great number of enthusiasts and tourists during Persian New Year holidays. -Amin Berenjkar, Mehr 3/25/21

Persian New Year: Learning the traditions behind Nowruz & what it means to the Austin community

In the cycle of seasons through Earth, the second the sun crosses the vernal equator marks the start of Nowruz. In Austin, Nowruz began on Saturday, March 20 at 4:37 a.m. this year. The celebration is 13 days long and follows the succession of a variety of different rituals and customs to mark the beginning of spring. -Ashley Miznazi, KXAN 3/23/21

Celebrating spring with Iranian food in Florence and Tuscany

Spring solstice has just arrived, which corresponds with Persian New Year, celebrated by more than ten countries from the "-stans" (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, etc.) to Albania and by several ethnic groups not just in Iran by Iranians. Italy is home to several international communities, including a modest Iranian population of over 12,000, according to the country's office for statistics, ISTAT. -The Florentine 3/22/21

How Iranians Celebrate Persian New Year In COVID Times

It is for the second consecutive year that the novel coronavirus keeps families apart on eve of the Iranian New Year. This Norooz, or "new day" in Persian, starting on Saturday, ushers in the Iranian year 1400. The ancient celebration of the vernal equinox marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere; the moment when the length of day and night are almost equal. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 3/19/21

How different countries celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year

The UN has marked 21 March as International Nowruz Day - a celebration of spring and the connection between humans and nature. Here, we look at the similarities between, and peculiarities across, the nations that commemorate this ancient rite. -Farida Zeynalova, National Geographic 3/19/21

Though (Mostly) Indoors, Persian New Year Celebrations Endure

There's an old saying in Iran, a land quite fond of ancient sayings. The gist of it is: You'd think that the most opportune time to rob a house is during the Persian New Year, when Iranians vacate their homes, sometimes for days at a time. There's only one problem. All the thieves are out celebrating as well. -Roben Farzad, Wine Magazine 3/19/21

For One Persian Restaurant in SF, Nowruz Is a Time to Feed Students in Need

This weekend, at least 200 low-income Oakland students and their families will sit down to enjoy a Nowruz, or Persian New Year, meal: turmeric-tinged rice, a salad with pomegranate-molasses dressing, and the Persian-style "meatloaf" preparation known as kebab digi-all provided for free courtesy of Komaaj, a popular Northern Iranian restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District. -KQED 3/19/21

Najmieh's Persian Pantry

Nowruz begins on Saturday March 20. Celebrate Persian New Year with a feast, guided by "the grande dame of Persian cooking," Najmieh Batmanglij, using the ingredients in her Persian pantry. 3/19/21

Celebrate Persian New Year with this celebratory Nowruz dish

Many holidays of cultural significance are celebrated with food, and Nowruz is no different. Also known as Persian New Year, it kicks off on the vernal equinox, or first day of spring - this year, that's March 20 - and spans 13 days. -Amy Chyan, Toronto Star 3/18/21

Gooz Fish

I've got two of four children in the car on an ambitious adventure to bring home a goldfish for the Persian New Year, which is exactly one week away. Every year around this time, as Nowruz approaches, the onset of immigrant-daughter guilt percolates. Will I gather the items for this year's sofreh-haft-seen? Yes woman, rally. I have to, I want to. -Nawal Qarooni Casiano, nqc literacy 3/18/21

Celebrate the delight of the coming Persian New Year Norooz!

Celebrate the delight of the coming Persian New Year - Norooz! Learn about Persian history from OI scholars, play ancient board games, and attend storytime. Downloadable activities to celebrate from home will also be available, including making your own stamp seal, OI collection scavenger hunts, and more! Live on Zoom Friday, March 19, 2021!-Oriental Institute 3/18/21

Photos: Norooz elements in Mashhad

With Persian New Year Norooz approaching, to celebrate the occasion, special cultural installations have been placed throughout the city of Mashhad in northeast Iran. Norooz begins precisely with the beginning of spring on vernal equinox, which this year will be on March 20th. This is also a special year since it is the Iranian year 1400. -Hassan Mirpour, Mehr 3/18/21

North Shore's Iranian community celebrates new year with fun virtual event

The North Shore's Iranian community has celebrated one of its much-loved calendar events a little differently this year, holding an online Zoom gathering to mark Norouz. In light of the continued COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Nassreen Filsoof, president of the Canadian Iranian Foundation, said for the second year in a row the organization had put its annual Iranian new year events on hold. -North Shore News 3/17/21

Fire festival incidents kill 10, injure hundreds in Iran

Mishaps during an annual fire festival in Iran have left at least 10 people dead and hundreds more injured around the country, state TV reported Wednesday. The annual festival begins on the Tuesday before Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which will be celebrated on Saturday this year. -AP 3/17/21

Black Iranian heritage: Emerging from the shadows

A new generation of Black and Afro-Iranians are revitalising their distinct histories and culture. The exact number of Black and Afro-Iranians is not known. Their ancestry is linked to either the Trans-Saharan slave trade, the 19th century Pearl Diving trade, or more recent economic migration from Iran and African countries to the West for example. -Adama Munu, TRT World 3/17/21

Norooz Spring Dance

The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and Diaspora Arts Connection proudly presents Norooz Spring Dance to celebrate the arrival of the Persian New Year, Norooz. Norooz is a celebration of nature, music, and movement. No matter where you are in the world, we want to bring Norooz to your home. -March 19 at 6:00 pm (PST) 3/16/21

Nowruz, the Persian New Year makes a fresh start with spring

The New Year's celebration of our Gregorian calendar makes no logical sense. Nothing new happens on January 1 - as January 1, 2021, demonstrated to our collective chagrin. Wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate the start of the new year at the start of a new season? -Deirdre Bourdet, Napa Valley Register 3/16/21

IRAN: Plan on population growth, family support approved

Iranian Parliament approved on Tuesday to implement a population growth and family support plan for 7 years to change the declining trend of childbearing. The plan stipulates health insurance for infertile couples, providing services and facilities to working women, providing health and nutrition support packages to mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, providing livelihood support to families, and ongoing medical services to pregnant women. -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 3/16/21

Nowruz 1400 celebration ceremony in Tehran

Nowruz (Persian New Year) 1400 celebration ceremony was held in Tehran on Monday evening with the presence of Iran's Minister of Mohammad Javad Zarif, Secretary-General of the UNESCO's Iran National Commission chief Hojjatullah Ayoubi, , President of ECO Cultural Institute Sarvar Bakhti, Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali Asghar Mounesan and Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi nd a group of ambassadors of foreign countries in Tehran, artists and media people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. -IRNA 3/16/21

Norooz: the Persian New Year

Spring is approaching, blossoms are abound, and nothing more apropos to welcome the spring vernal equinox than the Persian new year Norooz. The Persian new year ubiquitously known as "Norooz" (meaning new day) historically is a tradition that dates back to thousands of years ago. Around the first week of March, Iranians around the globe are bustling and getting ready to ring in the much awaited new year. -Tara Afshar, Los Angeles Times 3/15/21

A TOUR OF IRAN: Symphony Concert and Cultural Festival

New West Symphony's Global Sounds. Local Cultures season continues with A Tour of Iran, exploring centuries old traditions of Iranian poetic and musical cultural influences on the western world. Award-winning mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke and Iranian instrumentalists Pejman Hadadi and Masoud Rezaei join the New West Symphony on this musical voyage. -Thousand Oaks, California 3/15/21

Iranzamin Exhibition at Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

Iranzamin (Land of the Persians) is the first survey exhibition of Persian arts and crafts acquired by the Powerhouse Museum since its founding in 1880. It explores the stories behind rarely seen artefacts from the middle of the 19th century to now, shedding light on the diverse social and cultural history of Persia - today's Iran - and its people. 3/12/21

At the Table: Nowruz, a Persian New Year Celebration

Celebrate Nowruz, or Persian New Year, with Aisan Hoss and Mehdi Parnia of Oyna Natural Foods. A festival of spring, Nowruz has been celebrated for thousands of years by Iranians and people throughout Central Asia. -Asian Art Museum, San Francisco 3/12/21

PHOTOS: Giant colored eggs in Tehran to welcome Persian New Year Norooz

To mark the beginning of the Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, visual artists in Tehran are painting large eggs to be installed in various locations in the city. This year Norooz starts on Saturday, March 20th at 2:37 AM PST. -Pantea Nikzad 3/11/21

Farhang Foundation's 12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz

Farhang Foundation is proud to present our 12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz. This year's celebrations will be conducted virtually online. We've invited artists from around the world to join us for a virtual celebration, with live performances from the United States, Europe and Iran. 3/10/21

Iran Heritage Foundation Celebrating Norouz 1400

Join us for an online celebration of Norouz, to mark the eve of a new year and a new century. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis will give a brief introduction to the history of Norouz, a festival celebrated not only by Iranians but by many communities around the world. 3/10/21

Webinar: Cultural Connections with Iran

This webinar will focus on why it is so important to develop and maintain cultural contacts with Iran, a country often seen through a political lens. The discussion panel consists of four people with extensive experience in this area: Neil MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum; Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Curator of Middle Eastern Coins at the British Museum​; Jon Snow of Channel 4 News; and Mahrukh Tarapor, former Associate Director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 3/9/21

Istgah Orchestra performing the classic folk song "DOKHTAR-E BOYER-AHMADI" from a historic house in Tehran

"Dokhtar-e Boyer Ahmadi" originates from the Kohgiluyeh And Boyer-Ahmad province of Iran, and it is a song that is familiar to most Iranians, it was perhaps best popularized by the magical voice of the legendary Iranian opera and folk singer Pari Zanganeh. The Istgah Orchestra has rearranged the attractive melody of Dokhtar-e Boyer-Ahmadi in this special performance. We dedicate this song to all the lovers of our beautiful Iran. -Farhang Foundation 3/3/21

Photos: 'Valila' village in Savadkuh County, N. Iran

'Valila' is a village in Kaseliyan Rural District, in the Central District of Savadkuh County, Mazandaran Province, Iran. -Havva Ahmadi, Mehr 2/26/21

Photos: 10th Fajr Fashion and Clothing Festival in Azadi Tower 2

The 10th Fajr Fashion and Clothing Festival officially started at the Azadi Tower Cultural and Artistic Complex in Tehran. -Honar online 2/18/21

"I Will Never Perform Just for Women!": Golnoush Khaleghi Passes Away in Exile

Golnoush Khaleghi, first Persian woman conductor and daughter of legendary composer Rouhollah Khaleghi, passed away on February 14. She was 80. Khaleghi was the conductor of the NIRT (National Iranian Radio & Television) Choir in the 1970s. Shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ms. Khaleghi moved to the United States and founded the Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra in Washington DC to preserve Persian music. BBC's Pejman Akbarzadeh has reviewed her career. 2/17/21

Photos: Tehran Bazaar on 4th February

Although officials have warned about the beginning of the fourth wave of the coronavirus, crowds of people still go shopping in the Tehran Bazaar. The reported cases of the coronavirus are on the rise, but lots of people go shopping in this part of Tehran, while most of them do not follow social distancing and health protocols. -Erfan Khoshkhoo, ISNA 2/11/21

Persian New Year Festival to unveil 'Haftseen'art

In honor of the Celebration of Life Nowruz - Persian New Year - the third annual Arizona Persian New Year Festival will unveil interactive art installations for public viewing instead of hosting an in-person festival. -Scottsdale Independent 2/4/21

PHOTOS: Opening of "Armaghan" (gift) and "Conceptual Photo" exhibitions with works by Iranian and foreign artists

The reopening ceremony of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art was held on Thursday, January 28. Due to the observance of health protocols, a limited number of artists, officials and guests from foreign embassies participated at this event. -Honar Online 2/1/21

Photos: Sadeh Festival celebrated in Yazd

Zoroastrian Festival of Sadeh was celebrated in Yazd, Iran late on Friday with a limited audience and observing health protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic. The photos pertain to Zoroastrian Youth Club beside Zoroastrians Fire Temple in Yazd. -Masoud Mir Jalili 2/1/21

Saeidi brothers short music videos clips tuned to frantic pace of modern life

Vocalist brothers Ali and Mohammad Saeidi have initiated a plan to enrich the daily lives of those people who have little patience or spare time by recording short music videos. The music videos run less than one minute and each promotes one more Iranian art indirectly. 1/7/21

Music video of "Shahrzaad" performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Motherland's Ladies

Shahrzaad Symphony, composed by Aminollah Andre Hossein was performed by a symphony orchestra led by Nozhat Amiri and performed by 30 Iranian women musicians. The music video of "Shahrzaad" Symphony was released with the performance of the Symphony Orchestra of the Motherland's Ladies and a tribute to the sacrifices of the medical staff in the fight against Corona and in support of peace, friendship and health of the human race. -Honar Online 1/7/21

Contrary to expectations, marriage in Iran increased amid pandemic

Contrary to expectations, the marriage rate in Iran has been increasing over the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 20, 2020), amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was expected that the outbreak would affect the marriage rate leading to a downward trend... 1/6/21

Lincoln Tan discovers Auckland's hidden restaurant dishes - Dolmeh meals at Rumi

It is not easy getting Iranians to have Persian dinners out at restaurants, says Reza Sarkheil, because most believe the best food is found at home in their mother's kitchen. But what happens when the restaurant's chef is an Iranian woman - Reza's mum - and the dishes she cooks are from family recipes that have been passed down for generations? -Lincoln Tan, New Zealand Herald 1/6/21

Photos: Performance of 'A Season for Coronavirus'

A performance called "A Season for Coronavirus" has been put on in the most crowded streets of Ahvaz city for several nights. After Ahvaz, the performance will be put on in the streets of Kish Island and Tehran. -Alireza Mohammadi, ISNA 12/30/20

Ceramist Abbas Akbari honored as Iran's top art scholar of the year

Ceramist Abbas Akbari honored as Iran's top art scholar of the year The honoring ceremony was organized online last Tuesday by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology as part of National Research Week, which was held from December 12 to 18. 12/22/20

Farhang Foundation's 8th Annual Celebration of Shab-e Yalda-Shab-e Yalda

Farhang Foundation is proud to present the 8th Annual "Virtual" Celebration of SHAB-E YALDA. Join us as we welcome the arrival of the winter solstice, an ancient Persian tradition dating back thousands of years. The evening program will feature Ferdowsi's Shahnameh storytelling by the world's first female Iranian epic storyteller GORDAFARID, as well as HAFEZ readings and storytelling by Haleh Mahboubi Gabbay, and a very special musical performance by renowned musician Shahin Shahida 12/17/20

8th Tehran National Sculpture Biennial kicks off

The 8th edition of the Tehran National Sculpture Biennial was inaugurated at the Vahadat Hall and the Rudaki Open-Air Theater on Monday. The biennial is organized by the Association of Iranian Sculptors and the Visual Arts Office of Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. 12/16/20

Love for nature displayed in Iranian baby names

Many Iranian names are derived from nature and are inspired by flowers and other elements. Being widespread and common in Iranian culture, this issue shows the importance of nature among Iranians. Baby names with a compelling meaning are becoming ever so popular. Some of the most interesting ones can be nature-inspired baby names that have long been used among Iranians, which might be a sign of enthusiasm for nature. 12/2/20

'Radiograph of a Family': Film Review | IDFA 2020

An elegantly composed mosiac of real events and artfully restaged memories, Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani's stylized documentary Radiograph of a Family is a personal passion project with rich political and cultural resonance. Subtly chronicling Iran's last few turbulent decades using her own parents as emblematic protagonists, Khosrovani's fourth feature makes imaginative use of nostalgic found footage, immersive sound design, love letters and vintage family photos.... -Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter 12/1/20

Iran on Four Wheels: Politics through the Paykan's Rear Window

Writing about Shahin Armin and Sohrab Daryabandari's film, "Iran's Arrow: the Rise and Fall of the Paykan" (2017), from my vantage point as an Iranian-American who has never been to Iran, elicits a similar experience of removal from the "original." It also provokes self-recognition elsewhere. Absorbed with Iran's iconic car, the Paykan, I am revisited by my mother's experiences of working as a child in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a chapter of her life recounted in slivers so minute that I was never able to form a picture of the whole. Iranians' attachment to the Paykan feeds my own cultural yearning. -Alice Aziz, Counterpunch 11/30/20

Online screening of Focus Iran in Montreal: a French documentary about Iran

The documentary, Focus Iran (2017), follows the efforts and struggles of five Iranian photographers, including four young women, who have to overcome many barriers to continue working in their country. It is a story which shows the honest personal narratives of these artists about how they could battle the religious and social taboos to shoot a real image of the invisible folds of current Iranian society. -Maryam Azimzadehirani , The Concordian 11/24/20

Unsilencing sanctions: Iranian musicians launch album in Germany

Even as international politics drive Iran further into isolation, a music record label in Germany is more determined to introduce Iranian artists and their music to international audiences. Hamburg-based 30M Records, founded earlier this year by Matthias Koch, will later this week release its first album by two Iranian artists, offering a mix of traditional Iranian music and modern sounds. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 11/16/20

Museum Diplomacy Falters in the Face of Iran Sanctions

In 1926, Alexander Upham Pope, an art historian, collector, and dealer who specialized in Iranian art, was contracted by the Iranian government to design the Persian Pavilion at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a replica of the magnificent Safavid-era mosque Masjid-e Shah from Naqsh-e Jahan square in Isfahan, which sat in what is now the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park and the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia... -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/13/20

Kashan: City of Culinary Delights

Kashan is a beautiful town in the central Iranian province of Isfahan with a very long history and numerous natural and ancient tourist attractions, including its culinary. -IFP 11/12/20

The Days Tehran had Opera...: A Tribute to Evlin Baghcheban

The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Evlin Baghcheban's death. She played a crucial role to promote opera and choral music in Persia/Iran. Born to an Assyrian-French family in Turkey, she studied singing and piano at the Ankara State Conservatory. In 1950 Evlin married the Persian composer and fellow student Samin Baghcheban and moved to Tehran. -BBC Persian TV 11/10/20

Iran reports one of lowest fertility rates in 8 years at 1.8

Iran's statistics bureau says number of births in the country fell to nearly 1.2 million in the year ending March 2020. The number of births in Iran fell to one of its lowest in 8 years in year to March 2020 as data provided by the Statistical Center of Iran shows economic problems in the country have dented government efforts to encourage new births. 11/9/20

Iran's Parliament draws up plan to encourage childbearing

Iranian parliament has developed a support plan to encourage families to increase childbearing. The plan stipulates health insurance for infertile couples, providing services and facilities to working women, providing health and nutrition support packages to mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, providing livelihood support to families, and ongoing medical services to pregnant women, Mehr quoted Fatemeh Ghasempour, head of the women and family faction of the Majlis, as saying. 11/5/20

Photos: Eye-catching beauties of Mazandaran Province in northern Iran

Located along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, Iran's Mazandaran Province, with its natural beauty and marvelous landscape, attracts millions of travelers all year long. -Ehsan Fazli, IRNA 11/5/20

The 13th Iranian Folk Music Festival to be held online

The 13th edition of Iran's Regional Music Festival will be held online in the southern Iranian city of Kerman from October 31 to November 2, the director of the Kerman branch of Iran Music Association Suraj Yasai said on Monday. The participating artists will be giving their performances every night mainly at the Ganjali Khan Caravanserai, a 17th-century monument in Kerman, and the performances will stream online on the Instagram page of the association, he added. 10/27/20

Photos: Saffron harvest in Golestan province, Iran

Vamenan village in Golestan, the northeastern province of Iran is one of the hubs for producing the best saffron in Iran. Many farmers are busy with harvesting saffron flowers at this time of the year. -Mahsa Safari, Mehr News Agency 10/26/20

Op-Ed: Americans helped my family emigrate from Iran. That kindness is what makes this country great

My first taste of American greatness was peanut butter. It was in 1965 or so, in Urmia, my hometown in northwest Iran. I was around 3 years old. The peanut butter was a gift from Penny and Richard, two of a handful of Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Urmia in the 1960s. Since President Trump was elected, I have thought a lot about that gift of peanut butter and our president's slogan, "Make America Great Again." -Behrooz Alexander Moghaddam, Los Angeles Times 10/19/20

Persian music master Shajarian who backed Iran protests dies

Mohammad Reza Shajarian, whose distinctive voice quavered to traditional Persian music on state radio for years before supporting protesters following Iran's contested 2009 election, has died, state TV reported Thursday. He was 80. Shajarian enlivened Iran's traditional music with his singing style, which soared, swooped and trilled over long-known poetry set to song. But the later years of his life saw him forced to only perform abroad, after he backed those who challenged the disputed re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by telling state radio to stop using his songs. -Nasser Karimi, AP 10/9/20

Iranian-German movie 'Bandar Band' sends message of hope

Iranian director Manijeh Hekmat expected the production of her latest movie to go ahead as planned - but then she found herself having to improvise. The resulting film is more than just an homage to Iran's landscapes. -Deutsche Welle 9/21/20

Iran's rap battles: youth with a 'pure love' for rap

The young people gathered are in their twenties, dressed in oversized tee-shirts, hoodies, chains and durags. In short, they look like any young people immersed in rap and hip hop culture. But when they launch into their flow, the words are in Persian. Rap has been popular in Iran for the past twenty years but, recently there has been an increasing number of rap battles staged in quiet streets and parks, and videos are popping up online. -France24 9/17/20

Meet Khalil Oghab: "The father of Iranian circus"

Older people know "Khalil Oghab" who found fame from Zurkhaneh, then became renowned across Iran and worldwide. He says: "I'm the father of the Iranian circus," and surely he is. Born Khalil Tariqat Peyma in 1924, the athlete acted as a stuntman in different world countries and set a record which is yet to be broken, ISNA reported on Monday. -Tehran Times 9/17/20

"Most non-Iranians only know about kebabs": One Toronto woman's quest to elevate her culture's cuisine and raise money for charity

I grew up surrounded by good cooks, but I only started cooking seriously in my mid-twenties. I'm Iranian and my family would always make elaborate dinners to bring people together. I was born in Tehran, but we moved to Toronto when I was 12. -Toronto Life 9/16/20

Photos: Armenians Holy Cross ceremony in Tehran

Tehran's Holy Cross Cathedral hosted the Holy Cross ceremony on Monday. This cathedral was built in 1970 by one of the Armenians of Tehran near Valiasr square in Karimkhan street in downtown Tehran, and it is now the main center of the gathering of Armenians in Tehran. -IRNA 9/15/20

Iran's secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution was a defining event that changed how we think about the relationship between religion and modernity. Ayatollah Khomeini's mass mobilisation of Islam showed that modernisation by no means implies a linear process of religious decline. Reliable large-scale data on Iranians' post-revolutionary religious beliefs, however, has always been lacking. -Pooyan Tamimi Arab & Ammar Maleki, The Conversation 9/11/20

Swiss FM visits historical palace in Tehran, urges deepening cultural ties

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis paid a visit to the Niavaran Cultural-Historical Complex in Tehran on Monday, emphasizing the need to deepen and strengthen cultural relations between the two countries. The complex, covering an area of about eleven hectares, is composed of several landmark buildings, museums, and monuments constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries during the Pahlavi and late Qajar eras. 9/9/20

'We are part of the tapestry': Black Iranians launch collective

Education campaign touches on topics such as Iran's history of slavery, which was only abolished in 1929: The animated series Siyaa Zibaast (Black is Beautiful) is one of many works that will be featured by the Collective for Black Iranians, a newly launched group which focuses on amplifying representation of Black and Afro Iranians - something that is long overdue, explains the founder, Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda. -Behdad Mahichi 20 hours ago, Al-Jazeera 9/3/20

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